How to Start a Blog: A Beginner’s Guide to Blogging
I am SO excited to finally be talking about this! It makes my heart so happy to help others and share knowledge! This topic is by far the most popular, most asked about, most requested blog post! Because I am literally sharing everything I can think of that has helped me start my blog and tips and tricks I've learned along the way, I am splitting this post up into two segments. The first (this post) will be talking about the basics. This is covering all the things I was wishing I had known back when I was first starting out. The second will be posted a little later where I will be adding more about the basics and a lot on strategy.
So let's get started!!!
You want to start a blog, but you're not sure where to begin or how. Do you NEED a nice ass camera? How do I make my website?? How do I announce I'm doing this? What will people THINK of me doing this? Will I get the positive feedback I'm hoping for? MY INSTA PAGE IS A TRAINWRECK!!!
We have all asked ourselves these questions in the beginning, and that's completely normal. But, if you are really dedicated to your cause and why you want to start blogging.. you're truly going to put in the effort (A LOT IS REQUIRED), then this post is for YOU! Let's dive into the basics:
First thing is first...
1. Turn your Instagram page into a business profile, or start a new page as a business profile. It is CRUCIAL to stand out on Instagram as this is the new frontier for bloggers to be noticed and searched. Also be sure to make your bio stand out as well. Be precise about what you have to offer the audience you are wanting to attract. This takes time to perfect.. Really sit down and think about what you want to do here as a blogger. Also, immediately start putting effort in posting great quality pictures that are clear and crisp. Although you don't need to have a professional camera (literally iPhone works just fine!) I chose to get one. I have a Canon EOS 80D, (IM OBSESSED) but I also put iPhone photos here and there.
2. Your website does NOT have to be complete when you announce you want to blog. When I announced it I did it 5 days before my site launched to gain hype and anticipation from my hot market (family and friends who were already following me). This also allows you to test the waters and see the feedback. It's ok if there isn't a rush of it in the beginning.. you're just starting out and there are tons of followers who don't know you yet, but will!
3. Be working on your site. I worked on this thing for like 4-6 months.. I didn't have the time with work to really be crazy fast with it, but I chose to go with Squarespace and I love it. However, if I could do it all over again or find a way to move my site to WordPress Hosting I would. There are TONS of benefits to having your site WordPress hosted (main one being you completely own your site on WordPress). I highly suggest going with WordPress.
4. Join a blogging sorority or marketing group! I'm a member of Style Collective and I absolutely love it! This community of bloggers helps you find and network with other members in your area, give advice on blogging and websites, and EVEN hook you up with contacts for big events like NYFW!
5. Contact local bloggers in your area and schedule a meet up! This has been one of the most beneficial things about blogging. I have not only made some really great friends, but have also been able to share info and go to local events together. It has been a ton of fun!
6. Start utilizing the stories feature. This is the next level stage of Instagram and it isn't going away any time soon. In fact, the stories feature is absolutely crucial for your following to get to know you and your personality. It's also a great way to link products they can directly buy when you hit your first 10K and get the swipe up feature!
7. Join an affiliate marketing group or site. There are quite a few out there for bloggers, such as, Cohley and AspireIQ. I’ve worked with brands like JCPenney and CVS just from being found on these sites!
8. Podcasts. There are so many out there now. I consistently listen to Julie Solomon on The Influencer Podcast. She is so knowledgeable on all things blogging, branding, brand pitching, and has a masterclass you can join to really get in depth insights on all these topics. Jasmine Star is another amazing educator!
Apps. There are tons of apps out there that can help you on your blogging journey and here are some that I use ON THE DAILY....
* Colorstory - the perfect app for finding any filter imaginable.... amazing.
*Plann- Probably the MOST important app I use on a daily basis. It allows you to see a mock page of your Instagram page before posting, so you can move pics around and schedule your posts. you can also draft captions and store your hashtags. This nifty app also shows you the performance of your posts; including your engagement rate for each, top performing days and times to post, and SO much more. I strongly recommend signing up and if you click here, you’ll receive your first month FREE! If you are serious about blogging this is your go-to for everyday use.
*Lightroom - Adobe lightroom mobile is the ultimate photo editor that I use and then head to colorstory for the filtering process.
* WordSwag- This app is great for creating unique stories with fonts and letters that Instagram doesn't have, so you look very unique. It's also the app I used to create my own highlight covers! More on this topic in my second segment..
Blogging has become a passion of mine. It is my creative outlet encompassing all my favorite things that I share with you guys, but most of all, it has been my window of opportunity. I have been able to work with brands, gain new relationships, network, and it can just keep going if you work hard and keep at it. I wanted to share this info with you because I know exactly how it is just starting out with no one really there to help you out except literally googling, "how to start a blog" LOL. I am so appreciative of all the things blogging has to offer and it really is a new frontier. There are no rules.. You are the boss! So, what are you waiting for… Let’s start that blog!
Well, I think I have covered enough for now... I really hope you enjoyed this post and find the information to be useful! I would love to hear any feedback on it and any tips you would like to add to what I just discussed!